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Welcome to Dorm Parties

Allie Tollaksen | Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ladies and gentlemen, but especially freshmen ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you to a new school year. The weather is wonderful (if you have air conditioning), the squirrels are frolicking around campus and everyone is busy trying to figure out where their classes are and why there’s so much new shrubbery outside of DeBartolo. But amidst the chaos of these first few weeks, I would like to take a moment to talk about one of our most beloved pastimes at the University of Notre Dame – dorm parties.
Oh, dorm parties, where you can see nothing and feel everything. Where there’s more sweating happening than did at Rolf’s that day. Where the party never stops, until it’s 2 a.m. and then apparently, the party moves to Taco Bell.
There’s not a whole lot that is comfortable about dorm parties, but one thing you can seek comfort in is the music. There is undoubtedly some predictability to the dorm party soundtrack. So whether you’re in a new dorm or with new friends and things start to get weird, you can always rest assured that the students on campus will play the same 20 songs and you probably already know the words to all of them. For you sophomores and upperclassmen, you probably already have a playlist going in the back of your head (or maybe even created on your iPod), but to all you freshmen new to the dorm party scene, here’s what to expect.
1. “Get Low” – Lil Jon and East Side Boyz
This song was released 10 years ago (feel old yet?), but somehow we all love it just the same. “Get Low” is a go-to if no one in the party is dancing because it’s a scientific fact that no one can resist the urge to point to the window, then the wall. Bonus points if you know all the words to the “explicit version” because that made you cool in middle school.
2. “Party in the U.S.A.” – Miley Cyrus
The only thing college partiers love more than singing pop songs is America. This song combines both of those things. I just ask that you refrain from twerking badly to this Miley classic and save it for the bound-to-be-played “We Can’t Stop.”
3. “Wagon Wheel” – Darius Rucker or Old Crow Medicine Show.
This is any Notre Dame student’s go-to song for when a party winds down, almost a celebration for the last ones standing. The debate over which version is better rages on.
4. “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from “Mulan.” If it isn’t already clear, we love nostalgia around here, and there’s something about partying to Disney that is so wrong and so right at the same time. Whether this is morally reprehensible or not, you can hold your cup in one hand and point to all your friends with the other as you sing along and maybe ruin a small part of your childhood.
5. Something from a musical.
It never ceases to amaze me how much Notre Dame students love singing to musical theater and how often it’s played at social gatherings. I’ve been to parties and watched a dozen people break out into “Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat.” I’ve seen a group of men belt out some “Les Mis.” Fortunately, I haven’t heard any “Cats” yet, but there’s still time.
6. “Call Me Maybe” – Carly Rae Jepsen.
It’s possible that this phase has finally passed, but I’m almost positive that “Call Me Maybe” fever hit harder at Notre Dame than anywhere else. I was once at a gathering where the song was played five times in a row and no one complained. No one.
7. “I’m Shipping Up To Boston” – Dropkick Murphys
Particularly popular on football weekends, this pre-kickoff song is an easy way to get a party riled up. This song is made even better when combined with the “Here Come the Irish” intro used at games for maximum authenticity. Even in those miserably hot and tiny rooms, school spirit is alive and well.
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The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.